Former officers with the so-called “power structures” in the Republic of Moldova have intervened in the election campaign to express concern with the developments at home, but also to warn that foreign powers have access to external information. The narratives are part of the anti-Western rhetoric employed by pro-Russian political parties in Chișinău in the election campaign.
NEWS: “According to reports carried by the media, foreign powers, both governments and private groups, have obtained access to classified information, including information with top-priority status. In this respect, retired and discharged officers of the power structures and armed forces of the Republic of Moldova have called on the president to answer the question: On what grounds and under which law have these people been granted access to such information? Why, as head of state, aren’t you taking all the necessary steps to ensure that these actions, which can be considered criminal in nature, are sanctioned and prevent them from happening in the future? Besides, the head of state was asked when the US Ambassador to Moldova will be asked to provide explanations and when the authorities will submit an official notification expressing disapproval with his interference in the activity of the Intelligence and Security Service, of the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Central Electoral Committee.
The authors of the letter claim the actions of US Ambassador to Moldova, Derek Hogan, as well as those of the Romanian ambassador to Moldova, Daniel Ioniță, and the head of the EU delegation to Moldova, Peter Michalko, exert direct pressure on the authorities of a sovereign country and represent an interference with the domestic affairs of the Moldovan state”, reads an article published on noi.md, a news portal affiliated to the Party of Socialists in the Republic of Moldova.
NARRATIVES: 1. Foreign powers – the USA, the EU and Romania – have access to classified information in the Republic of Moldova, which jeopardizes state security. 2. President Maia Sandu is a Western stooge that holds the interests of other states at heart, to the detriment of the Republic of Moldova.
BACKGROUND: Against the backdrop of the campaign for the early parliamentary election slated for July 11, a number of organizations made up of pro-Russian and anti-Western veterans of power structures in the Republic of Moldova have joined efforts against pro-European political parties. Under the guise of patriotic rhetoric, they support the Kremlin’s political agenda in the Republic of Moldova and act as the campaign managers of the left-wing pro-Russian political factions. Part of these veterans are also members of the signatory organizations – the “Save Moldova!” People’s Movement Council, supported by representatives of the Republican Council of the “People’s Union” Public Platform.
The founders of the “People’s Union” patriotic public platform are the following: “Save Moldova!” People’s Movement, the “Anti-crisis Community Center” National Volunteer Movement, the Public Council of Moldova, the “Pro-Moldova” Patriotic Movement, the History and Geography Association of Moldova, the “SindSport” Federation of Trade Unions in Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism in the Republic of Moldova, the Trade Union of Moldovan Students and Youth and the National-Cultural Moldovan Autonomy in Saint Petersburg.
All of the abovementioned entities work with sovereigntist, anti-Western and pro-Russian agendas in the Republic of Moldova.
One of the leaders of the Platform, Victor Petrov, the founder of the Anti-crisis Community Center, said that the construction of the “People’s Union” marks just the beginning of a new stage in the consolidation of patriotic forces of the Moldovan people!
Moreover, the “People’s Union” also dabbled with the possibility of negotiating with the Electoral Bloc of Communists and Socialists, made up of the Communist Party in the Republic of Moldova (led by Vladimir Voronin) and the Party of Socialists in the Republic of Moldova (led by Igor Dodon).
Furthermore, one of the strongest organizations with such an agenda, also made up of former officers with pro-Russian aspirations, is the Union of Officers in the Republic of Moldova. It is led by Victor Gaiciuc, a battalion general and the current interim Defense Minister in the Republic of Moldova.
PSRM president, Igor Dodon, was wedding godfather to Victor Gaiciu’s son. A former aviation general and officer of the USSR, also well-connected in Moscow, Gaiciuc was one of the staunchest supporters of Igor Dodon’s political career.
On the other hand, the Republican Council of the “People’s Union” Public Platform is a new organization, created last month, which militates for the same issues as Gaiciu’s organization.
The incumbent interim Defense Minister, Victor Gaiciuc, worked for decades as an officer of the Soviet Union and made a number of public statements, claiming the Crimean Peninsula belongs to Russia, and that pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine are bravely fighting against Kiev.
In addition, referring to the Russian military buildup outside Ukraine’s borders, Victor Gaiciuc has recently stated that the Republic of Moldova should not be concerned by the escalation of Russian military exercises in the breakaway region of Transnistria.
PURPOSE: To promote Moscow’s propaganda in the Republic of Moldova.
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: The letter sent by the “patriots”, as the formers officers of power structures describe themselves, brings back into the limelight the typical narratives of Russian propaganda with respect to the West. Dressed up as patriotic attitudes, a great number of traditional themes of Russian propaganda in the Republic of Moldova are mixed together, all revolving the same dictum: “we won’t sell our country”.
The authors of the letter provide no evidence to support the claim that foreigners allegedly have access to sensitive information.
The authors also write that “external forces are trying to make Moldova one of the “protagonists” of geopolitical confrontation, by turning us all into collateral hostages of someone else’s interests”. Moreover, they also reiterate the idea of a Euromaidan protest staged in Chișinău in the event pro-Russian forces win the election, a veiled reference to defending “the citadel under siege”, another favorite theme of Moscow-backed narratives.
Apart from the narrative about the alleged spies who have access to sensitive information close to Maia Sandu, the letter merely reiterates the narratives on the agenda of sovereigntist, anti-Western actors in the Republic of Moldova with anti-Romanian phobias. They have challenged Maia Sandu to renounce her Romanian citizenship, in a cloaked attempt at charging her with treason, and compel her to make sure “the Moldovan language and history” is taught in schools.
The letter also states that the fracture within Moldovan society could lead to internal struggle, with people “ready to take to the streets”, a type of scare tactics employed quite frequently in recent years by the Party of Socialists in the Republic of Moldova and its leader, Igor Dodon, even during his term in office as president over 2016-2020.
WHO STANDS TO BENEFIT: Pro-Russian political forces in the Republic of Moldova, by promoting a false patriotic discourse criticizing the West.